Our South Australian heritage has long shaped landscapes, cities and towns. It tells us about our past as well as the people of days gone by. Besides state archives, much of these stories are preserved in the unique historic houses scattered around Adelaide.
Here are four precious heritage buildings that stood out to me while learning the history of South Australia.
Carrick Hill House
Staircase in the great hall
The first is Carrick Hill House in the affluent suburb of Springfield. And, no, Homer Simpson and his satirical family do not live here. Instead, this English manor was home to prominent couple Edward and Ursula Hayward. Their house, designed around fittings from England, was constantly filled with laughter, fine food, music and dancing. Its mostly intact contents remain today as an example of the lifestyle of wealthy and cultured 20th century residents.
Secondly, I found the history of Urrbrae House to be rather interesting. Did you know that the interior decorations of this two-storey bluestone mansion were designed by the same company that later designed the interiors for the Titanic? And, what's more, it was the first Adelaide home to have electrical light and refrigeration system! Peter and Matilda Waite lived in the house with their family from 1877 to 1922 before presenting it to The University of Adelaide.
The third historic house is Captain Charles Sturt's residence which had been built in early colonial style. Known as the 'Grange', most of the home still appears as it would back during early settlement days with many original possessions being featured. Sturt was one of the country's foremost explorers undertaking expeditions along the Murray River.
Henry's study in the basement
Fourthly, Ayers House can be found right in the city itself. Henry Ayers, the then Premier of South Australia, extended the house and called it home for approximately forty years. Among its many rooms is the basement which incorporates Henry's study. When the weather got too warm, he and his family would spend much of their time at this basement level! Does that ring a bell whatsoever? Possibly, if you've been to Coober Pedy!
Cape Jaffa Lighthouse
Venturing further afield, I also discovered Edmund Bowman Jr's Martindale Hall, Christopher Sharam's Cottages and the eight-room Cape Jaffa Lighthouse. Where are some other historic houses you've found around Adelaide and beyond? I would love to know your findings.
The Old Courthouse in Willunga.
Actually all of Willunga is filled with heritage houses! Lots of Cornish cottages.
The Old Courthouse is at the top of High Street and has recently been refurbished/plastered.
Historic Cummins House is Novar Gardens is well worth a visit! It is the former home of pioneer Sir John Morphett, built in 1842. Guided tours with Devonshire tea every first and third Sundays of the month.
The Heritage listed Kingston House, built in 1840, is one of South Australia's oldest remaining houses. Once owned by George Strickland Kingston and son Charles Cameron Kingston who were powerful figures in the political landscape of their time. It is still being used today. The quiet beauty and hidden charm of the House and Reserve, with wonderful views of the ocean make it a favourite picnic spot for visitors. Open every Sunday for tours, Devonshire tea & picnics in the grounds. Also available for weddings & functions. 5 Cameron Avenue, Kingston Park (between Seacliff & Marino).http://kingstonhouse.com.au